DENVER, CO

Heading down out of the mountains toward Denver was a much easier drive than the way up, and the bus handled it just fine. We had a good laugh at the creative signs along the highway warning truckers about the steep downhill grade. Parking in Denver for a night was going to be an issue for us, as I hadn’t come up with any good options yet, so I decided to make a post on a BMW car forum that I am fairly active on asking if anyone had parking available. We got an immediate response from several great guys offering driveways and curbsides all over the Denver area. Roland was the first to offer us a spot along the curb on a dead end street next to his house in Golden, and it worked out perfectly. Roland and his family were so nice; they loved the bus and welcomed us into their home.

Once we got the bus settled and extension cords ran to the house we set of on an adventure through Golden and then down to Denver. Golden was a really neat little down, with a historic downtown area and a nice park next to Clear Creek, the river that runs through town and into the Coors factory. We had a great time walking along the creek and enjoying the beautiful weather. Since we were in Golden we had to go check out the Coors factory, even though Coors beer is a sin to us! Unfortunately (fortunately) we got there too late and they were closed for tours, but we did get to see the outside of their massive factory. It was interesting from a history standpoint.

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Waving goodbye to Golden we set off down the highway into Denver, we had better breweries to visit! Stopping at Great Divide first we really enjoyed their lively tasting room, and their delicious beer. We had learned about Great Divide while living in Florida, since our local beer store had several of their offerings available. I got to try their Belgian Wit seasonal; it was another great Wit style beer to add to the list. Next we went around the corner to Breckenridge Brewery, a larger restaurant and brewery that carried a variety of great beer from around town as well as their own selection.

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When we first set off for Denver I thought we might just check out a couple places and then head back out to Roland’s place for the night. Little did I know that we were actually out for an all night brew tour of Denver! Everywhere we went, there seemed to be another great spot just down the street or around the corner. We visited River North Brewing and Renegade, both excellent companies. Lindsey really enjoyed the Poblano Amber Ale at Renegade; it had quite the smoky-spicy undertone. We finally finished the night at a taproom and restaurant next to Roland’s where we met up with his sister and her friend. Needless to say, I might have fallen asleep during dinner.

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After our wild night out in Denver we enjoyed some breakfast at Roland’s and were able to take advantage of the shower, it is so nice to be in a bathroom that isn’t at a campground, where you don’t feel the need to wear sandals into the shower. Our goal for the morning was to go back into Denver and check out the specialty product of Glaze, called a baum cake. It’s a very interesting old European style of baking with a Japanese twist. It is a place Lindsey read about while we lived in Florida, and we added it to the list of things to see while we traveled the country.

Roland’s mom, sister, and her friend had caught wind of our plans to visit the bakery and asked to join, we said of course! The more the merrier. We all loaded up in Big Red, their old Suburban, and headed off to find some cake for breakfast. They have a really nice store and seating area, and offer several delicious confections. We had a lot of fun watching the head baker use the incredible oven to make these large tube shaped cakes, one layer at a time.

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After loading up on sweets for the road, it was time to head out of Denver and toward Fort Collins, so we all said our goodbyes and took pictures by the bus. It was so nice to make new friends and have an excellent place to stay while we visited the city; I hope Roland makes it out to Portland sometime soon so we can visit again.

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